OH, my heart hurts. The mom of a 3-year-old is suing her apartment complex after she says a neighbor boy raped her little girl. The Oregon mom claims the owners and managers of the Willamette Grove Apartments knew the 10-year-old boy was a danger to others and did nothing about it.
Can you imagine being that manager? Or that owner? Knowing something and not saying anything and then ... this?
According to the lawsuit, the manager of the apartments knew that the boy was caught peering into a girl's bedroom and that the boy threatened children with a knife. The lawsuit also alleges the manager instructed the parents of those children not to disclose the boy's behavior to other tenants.
Not knowing the information, mom says she had no reason to suspect the boy would begin molesting her toddler, bribing her with candy so she'd remove her clothes.
The lawsuit is still in court, so we can't say yet whether the allegations are true or not, but for argument's sake, let's say they are. Speaking up could have saved this child a lot of trauma.
It's not always comfortable to speak up and label someone as a bad seed, especially when you're talking about a 10-year-old boy. He's just a kid. In that sense, I'd be hesitant if I were on some jury to award this mom the $6 million in damages and another $25,000 for psychological treatment she's requesting.
But from a purely moral standpoint, I can't imagine not saying something. In the global village in which we all live, that's just what you do for one another. You warn your neighbors if there's something -- or someone -- they should be on the lookout for to keep them safe. If you're wrong, you're wrong, but at least people have the information they need to be prepared.
Don't speak up, on the other hand, and you don't get to come out with the information later and say, "Oh, well, sorry, I shoulda said something."
Whatever the outcome of this lawsuit, my heart goes out to this poor family.
What do you think the manager should have done here?
Image via taberandrew/Flickr